Pilots

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Pilots: Bill Anders

Article | Jul 01, 2009

“I’m not one of those kids who built models and dreamed of being a pilot from day one,” Bill Anders says. But what he lacked in an early start, he more than made up for with a passion that would take him from fighter jets to logging nearly a week in space as one of the first to truly leave the Earth behind.

Pilots: Winston S. Churchill

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2009

Some of Winston S. Churchill’s most rewarding flights—and some of his saddest—came as a volunteer pilot flying donated organs around Europe in the middle of the night for the St.

Pilots: Jeff Puckett

Pilot Magazine | May 01, 2009

Five years ago Jeff Puckett got lucky on his checkride, you might say. The ancient Schweizer 300 sustained an engine failure in flight and he had to demonstrate an actual autorotation with the FAA examiner on board.

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Pilots: Tony Buechler

Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 2009

Tony Buechler took his first airplane ride in a P–51 Mustang. No joke.

Pilots: John Damgard

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2009

A true honor for an aircraft owner is to see his pride and joy end up in a museum to be preserved and admired for years to come. And if that museum is the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (NASM), it legitimizes the fact that the aircraft is special.

Pilots: Paul Gilbert

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2009

When Paul Gilbert regained consciousness in the basement of a Belgian farmhouse on Sunday, September 10, 1944, a faint light through a “little dim cobwebby window” was the first evidence that he had survived bailing out of his flak-riddled B–17G. Gilbert recalls his twenty-first mission: “We were tossed out of formation by a blast under number four that lifted the wing to the vertical and narrowly missed the lead ship.

Pilots: Rafael Sierra

Pilot Magazine | Jan 01, 2009

Finding a dedicated, career flight instructor is difficult these days. Meet Rafael Sierra.

Pilots: John Nance

Pilot Magazine | Dec 01, 2008

Most people probably associate John Nance with ABC News, where he has been an aviation analyst since the mid-1990s. Whenever an airplane crash captures the focus of the nation, Nance is ABC’s face and voice of aviation.

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Pilots: Amy Wasielewski

Pilot Magazine | Nov 01, 2008

Growing up on U.S. Army bases, Amy Wasielewski always associated the distinctive sound of whirling helicopter blades with her family.

Pilots: Simon Norwalk

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 2008

Some say there aren’t enough young pilots in aviation. And, some believe, those who do choose to become pilots aren’t driven and don’t study hard enough.

Pilots: Dorothy Cochrane

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2008

“I never expected to be writing history...teaching it, maybe, but not recording and writing it.” Yet that’s exactly what this lucky lady does as curator of general aviation for the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. Dorothy Cochrane’s rise to curator began when she moved to Washington in the late 1970s with her husband, a contract engineer.

Pilots: Capt. Joseph Grant

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2008

Joseph Grant was born 100 years ago in 1908, the same year that the Wright brothers first demonstrated their flying machine in public. Grant’s uncle, Leigh Wade, circled the globe in one of the famous Douglas World Cruisers, and that inspired him and his brother, Roy, to scrape together enough money for a ride in a Waco near Miami, Florida.

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Pilots: Deana Martin

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2008

Deana Martin revered her brother. “Growing up in the sixties, Dino was always interested in airplanes,” Martin says.

Pilots: Dennis Flanagan

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2008

When you board an airliner for that sardine-packed journey through the skies, someone in a uniform usually stands at the door and smiles mutely. Unless it’s Dennis Flanagan.

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Pilots: Joiwind Alexander

Pilot Magazine | May 01, 2008

For those who place credence in the theory that one’s behavior is mapped by their genes, Joiwind Alexander is a poster child. Her great-grandfather, J.B.

Pilots: Jamail Larkins

Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 2008

He’s got a thousand-watt smile and a personality that fills a room. For frequent visitors to events such as Sun ’n Fun, AirVenture, and AOPA’s Fly-In and Open House, he’s a regular fixture.

Pilots: Philip Calder

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2008

The first classified ads in The AOPA Pilot appear much like any others, black text on white paper now cream-colored with age. And most advertised a new airplane for sale, or a financing “opportunity”—the standard stuff.

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Pilots: Michael Bertz

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2008

As a young boy growing up in Cadiz, Ohio, in the mid-1940s, Michael Bertz used to watch P-51 Mustangs fly over his home. He fondly remembers the rich, throaty chorus of the 12-cylinder Merlin engine carrying those sleek machines through the skies, and knew that he “needed”—not wanted—to fly one.

Pilots: Johnny Parker

Pilot Magazine | Jan 01, 2008

When Johnny Parker was a kid, he didn’t go to the airport. The airport came to him.

Pilots

Pilot Magazine | Dec 01, 2007

"We were told there was no avgas in Kabul," Lowell Thomas Jr. says of a flight through the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia in 1954.

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Pilots

Pilot Magazine | Nov 01, 2007

At 17, Sean O'Donnell was riding his motorcycle and was T-boned. If you're not familiar with that term, here's a better description—O'Donnell was hit broadside by an oncoming car, thrown from his motorcycle, slammed into a rock, and suffered a T-3 level injury; he is paralyzed from the middle of his chest down.

Pilots

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 2007

Here's how you fly the Vomit Comet: At 30,000 feet dive until the modified McDonnell Douglas DC-9 (C-9) hits 350 knots, pull the nose up 60 degrees — that's 1.8 Gs — until you reach 240 knots, then unload. Repeat 40 times and call it a day.

Pilots

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2007

Summer Williams is what you might call a triple threat: She's a NASA engineer, she's logged 19 years as a dancer and cheerleader, and, as you can probably discern from her appearing on this page, she's also a private pilot. She took her first flight as a 10-year-old native of tiny Anthony, Kansas, on a commercial airliner.

Pilots

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2007

"Where in the world is Barrington Irving?" has been a good question since March 23. That's when the intrepid, Jamaican-born, 23-year-old pilot — who wants to introduce disadvantaged children to aviation — took off from Miami's Opa Locka Airport on his round-the-world odyssey in his custom-built Columbia 400 named Inspiration.

Pilots

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2007

Who hasn't dreamed of getting paid to fly? Kelly McCague did. While attending the California Peace Officer Cadet Program for her state park ranger job she learned that there was a park ranger who got paid to fly around Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.